Our curiosity overcame our need to act like Germans and say nothing on the train to them so we asked them what they were doing.
They were members of a Jugger team competing in a tournament in Berlin.
for this ultimate trophy...
I didn't know they made trophies with dog skulls on them
What is Jugger one might ask?
Well, you use these weapons:
to try to score with the dog skull "ball."
that gray spot in the center is a dog skull made out of pool noodles according to our sources
As you reach your opponents,
Think American Gladiator meets Medieval Times.
There were chains tangled with weapons everywhere. This got to be rather comical.
There were not very many women playing but this girl with the ball and chain kicked ass. As long as I was watching her, she never got hit. Here she is defending her Qwik or Läufer (the only person who can score). Notice the Qwik has the dog skull in her arms about to make a goal.
It isn't all fun and games. This enforcer or Pompfer had blood running down his cheek...like a real warrior.
It is all worth the trophy at the end.
What is the origin of this sport? Interestingly (or perhaps comically) the inspiration comes from a little known 1989 post-apocalyptic Australian film entitled "The Blood of Heroes."
Needless this to say, this sport is very popular in Germany. And Costa Rica.
If you are still interested, here is a good link and an explanatory video to get you pumped up.
The 2nd German Open in Berlin for 2010 has been announced. Let me know if you are in town. ;)